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International Day of the Midwife 2024 – May 5

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International Day of the Midwife - May 5 2024International Day of the Midwife (IDM) is annually observed across the globe on 5 May to recognise and acknowledge the contribution of midwives, the healthcare professionals worldwide.

  • IDM also celebrates the role of midwives, highlighting the significance of educating, training, regulating, and licensing midwives to improve the quality of care and reduce maternal and newborn mortality.


The theme of International Day of the Midwife 2024 is “Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution”.

  • The 2024 theme focused on the role of midwifery as climate activists in tackling the climate crisis.
  • Every year the theme of IDM is chosen by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), an accredited non-governmental organisation and a global voice of midwives and midwives’ associations for over 100 years.


i.The idea of celebrating the International Day of the Midwife came out of the 1987 ICM conference in the Netherlands.

ii.International Day of the Midwives was 1st celebrated on 5 May 1991 and has since been observed in over 50 nations globally.

What is a Midwife?

i.Midwives are healthcare experts specialising in prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care, focussing on promoting natural childbirth while managing complications.

ii.Midwives are highly involved in pre-pregnancy care, offering valuable guidance to prospective mothers, and focusing on establishing healthy habits before conception.

WHO’s Initiative:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021–2025 presents evidence-based practices and interrelated policy priorities.

This aims to ensure optimal contribution of nurses and midwives to universal health coverage and other health goals.

Gender Dynamics in Healthcare Workforce:

i.Globally, 67% of the health and social workforce are women.

ii.Nursing and midwifery occupations represent a significant portion of the female workforce.

iii.More than 80% of the world’s nurses serve in countries housing half of the global population.

iv.One in every 8 nurses practices outside their home country.


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with ICM, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WHO, and other global partners and donors, is developing a Global Midwifery Acceleration Roadmap.

  • It will be launched at the World Health Summit in October 2024.

2024 Events:

ICM hosted a virtual panel discussion titled “Midwives: The Workforce We Need for a Warming World on 6 May 2024 to celebrate the IDM 2024.

About International Confederation of Midwives (ICM):
i.The International Midwives’ Union (IMU), the forerunner of the ICM was founded in 1922 in Belgium.
ii.In 1954, the IMU changed its name to the ICM with its head office in London, United Kingdom (UK),
President– Sandra Oyarzo Torres
Headquarters– The Hague, The Netherlands(since 1999)